Barcelona Container Port Photo: Davies / CC-BY-SA

The Port of Barcelona is a participating incentive provider in the World Ports Climate Initiative's Environmental Ship Index.

Mitigation and moving towards low carbon waterborne transport infrastructure

All sectors must play their part in climate change mitigation. The waterborne transport infrastructure sector is no exception.

Port and waterway infrastructure and operations typically account for only a very small proportion of the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with the shipment of a particular consignment. The most significant proportion by far is associated with the sea voyage, and a varying amount with connecting transport.

It is nonetheless important that the owners, operators and users of waterborne transport infrastructure take steps to minimise the emissions associated with their activities if they are to contribute to the ‘less-than-2-degrees’ pathway.

The associations represented on the the Navigating a Changing Climate Partnership recognise the importance – and the urgency – of implementing effective mitigation measures and of moving towards low carbon infrastructure.

Coalition members further acknowledge the need for innovation alongside conventional emissions-reduction measures: for example initiatives aimed at improving integration to increase energy efficiency or at creating carbon sinks in coastal areas by Working with Nature.

As with other sectors, such innovation has the potential to bring associated social, employment and economic opportunities.

Monday, 22 April 2019 17:49

Excelling in energy transition – IAPH Climate and Energy Award finalists

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Port of Amsterdam's IGES Project Port of Amsterdam's IGES Project

Ahead of the IAPH World Ports Conference in Guangzhou, the jury have worked through a long list of innovative projects to reach three finalists

The IMO’s 2050 target for greenhouse gas reductions heralds the start of a structured approach towards capping harmful emissions that will ensure a very necessary adjustment to shipping's status as the world’s 6th largest emitter, were it to be a country. With UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport predicting compound annual growth of 3.8 % for seaborne trade between 2018 and 2023, the port industry must act.

There are many interesting examples of energy transition in IAPH member ports, many of which are striving towards CO2-neutrality in the long term to help achieving global climate goals. Ports are more frequently using renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and tidal power. They are also setting up possibilities for vessels to be refueled using alternatives to Heavy Fuel Oil such as LNG, methanol, and hydrogen.

There are a growing number of initiatives in the field of the ‘circular economy’, whereby port authorities work together with their industrial clusters to generate their own energy and give new economic purpose to waste products; one example is waste water being used to cool industrial installations, which can be deployed for urban heating purposes.

Port of Amsterdam – Integrated Green Energy Solutions (IGES)

Another example in this arena includes the construction of a plant in the Port of Amsterdam which transforms plastic to diesel, with the aim of processing 35,000 tons of plastic into 30 million litres of fuel annually. This would result in a reduction of approximately 57,270 tons of CO2 emissions, as the fuel produced emits 80% less CO2 compared to regular diesel.

Port of Antwerp – Hydroturbine

The Port of Antwerp has successfully tested the prototype model of a 3-bladed vertical axe water-turbine mounted in existing infrastructure of a lock on its left bank which produced far more wattage using tidal waters than anticipated. So it is continuing to explore using a further four within the vicinity of its other main locks by means of 3D design, Virtual Reality and computed fluid dynamics.

Ports of Stockholm – carbon footprint, energy optimization and sustainability reporting

As an early adopter, Port of Stockholm has taken significant strides toward its ambition to reduce its own total emissions by 50% between 2005 and 2025. It has done so by offering port fee reductions to ships with reduced NOx emissions and above-standard GHG footprints such as LNG-powered vessels, offering onshore power supply at several quays, changing truck fuel composition, installing LED lighting as well as energy monitoring meters for vessels and buildings.

To see all six categories and finalists in each , check out our competition area here.

For those who would like to vote (maximum one session to vote for up to all six categories), please click here.

Contact details for the IAPH World Ports Sustainability Awards:

Antonis Michail, Technical Director – World Ports Sustainability Program

email :